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'IRA' claims it fired shots at Tyrone PSNI station

Dissident group the 'IRA' has claimed it fired shots at a PSNI station in Strabane. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Connla Young

DISSIDENT republicans have claimed they carried out a gun attack on a PSNI station in Co Tyrone last weekend.

In a statement to the Irish News, the group calling itself the 'IRA' said “three aimed shots were fired at a sangar in Strabane using an automatic weapon" at around 8.40pm on Saturday.

The PSNI last night confirmed that officers in the station “heard three loud bangs in the Bowling Green area” before 9pm.

However, it did not make details of the incident public until approached by the Irish News.

PSNI Superintendent Mark McEwan said: “A check of the area was carried out on Sunday.

“No strike marks were found and enquiries are continuing.”

The shooting claim comes two weeks after the PSNI warned that the threat of a republican attack on police in the north-west was severe.

It would also be the third in which security forces were targeted in just over 48 hours last week.

A grenade was thrown at a police patrol in the Short Strand district of east Belfast on Friday night.

The device failed to explode after it landed at the feet of officers as they responded to a call.

On the same day it emerged that the ‘IRA’ planted a bomb under a van used by a British soldier who was said to be visiting a woman in the Linden Gardens area of north Belfast.

It was discovered on Thursday.

Policing Board member Dolores Kelly last night said briefings suggest the current threat is “severe and at a high point”.

“I condemn this reckless act, putting the public and others at risk and going against the wishes of the Irish people,” she said.

The SDLP deputy leader also said she was surprised that the PSNI did not make details of the incident public.

“The police need to be up front and they need to be clear. They have a responsibility and duty of care to their own staff and the public."

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